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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The intersection of Bizzell Street and College Avenue on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Farmers fight Hurricane Beryl
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J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 20, 2024
Duke forward Cooper Flagg during a visit at a Duke game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Flagg is one fo the top recruits in Dukes 2025 class. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Chu/The Chronicle)
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Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
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The referees and starting lineups of the Brazilian and Mexican national teams walk onto Kyle Field before the MexTour match on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • July 24, 2024

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Tebow deserves a chance

Today, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft unless the Rams front office trades down, picks Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, or has been collectively hit, one by one, in the head with a giant mallet. That is the safest part of the 2010 NFL Draft in regards to quarterbacks.

After that? It’s a crapshoot.
There’s a certain quarterback who left the college game while running the spread option. He carried the ball quite low, is known for his strong arm and good leadership and was seen as more of an athlete than a passer.
Tim Tebow, right? No. Donovan McNabb.
“I believe people began to understand that [option QBs are] not just guys out there running the ball all day,” McNabb said before the draft in 1999. “We have to make checks at the line of scrimmage, we’re reading defenses, we’re making reads on the run. Maybe I run around back there in the pocket. But there’s a reason for that. I just try to make a play out there.”
Many people have questioned the Florida quarterback’s ability to play in the NFL, saying the offensive scheme he played in for the Gators prevents him from being a successful NFL quarterback.
“The one big concern with Tebow is that he played almost exclusively out of the shotgun at Florida,” former NFL Head Coach Jon Gruden said after working with him on ESPN‘s Gruden Quarterback Camp. “Teams wanted to see how his footwork is on three, five and seven-step drops.”
The first person Tebow will be related to is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, if only because they both played in the same offense with coach Urban Meyer. Smith, like Tebow, was a winner for Meyer and had questions about his ability to run a pro-style offense.
Tebow, however, has some advantages Smith did not have. First, all of Tebow’s problems are correctable. The biggest of his weaknesses is his sloppy mechanics. Tebow would carry the ball around the navel; to bring it back over the top to throw, he would bring his arm around in a circle, dipping the ball as low as his hip. This can be fixed with the right quarterback coach, and Tebow himself has been working on it since his senior season ended.
“The other question was could he shorten up his throwing motion, and get the ball out quicker,” Gruden said. “Tebow responded by unveiling new mechanics and exceptional footwork. He now holds the ball higher and has effectively tightened up his arm placement. He looks good.”
Have these new mechanics been tested with an NFL defense? No. But Tebow has built a solid foundation for his delivery and will make his next coach’s job much easier than before.
Tebow has had scouting reports complain about his occasional “run-first” mentality. Hypothetically, a coach could tell Tebow to stop running – that may or may not work. In reality, he will have to learn when he can and cannot run in real time, a la Daunte Culpepper or Vince Young. The NFL has a much better pool of talent than the college game, and Tebow will have to test his abilities slowly.
Tebow’s strengths, however, make him worth the risk. His arm is strong enough for the NFL, he is a once-in-a-generation leader and his complete athleticism (speed, passing and general strength) hasn’t been seen since Culpepper was drafted in 1999.
Whether he is drafted in the first round or not, Tebow’s abilities and upside are worth the risk. He may not be able to start right away, but any team who gets him will benefit for years.

Kyle Cunningham is a junior sports management major.

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